Whether by design or by fluke, India seems to find very innovative ways to use popular music around the country. Or rather, one should say, make fantastical associations.
In 2006, a small village in Gujarat claimed that a very popular number by music director-singer Himesh Reshammiya, “Jhalak Dikhla Jaa”, was not only a favourite with the younger generation, but also with those long gone — the ones in the spirit world. The villagers thought the spirits and ghosts in the region considered it an invitation to make an appearance. If you think that’s bizarre, think again.
According to a recent media report, farmers in Uttarakhand’s agricultural fields have started playing songs by popular Punjabi rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh and other Punjabi singers to drive away wild animals from their fields — and the stratagem is apparently working!
The farmers were so harassed by the wild boars in the area wrecking havoc on their fields and destroying the harvest that the local government was forced to sanction their culling, says the report. But that didn’t help, since the animals are quite strong and difficult to catch. So, instead, the farmers tried a different technique of driving them away — and it worked.
They started blasting out songs by Yo Yo Honey Singh and other rappers on loudspeakers mounted on logs that not only seem to drive away wild boar but other wild animals as well. The inspiration came from a farmer who has reportedly said: “I used to hear from elders in the house that wild animals avoid places where there is a human habitat. I thought of playing music to let them know of human presence. And it has worked,”
“Apart from party songs with high musical notes and loud beats, we also play bhajans which have similar effects over wild boars and other species like jackal, nilgai and others,” the farmer added.
The songs now serve the dual purpose of entertaining those nearby, and keeping the harvest safe. This is possibly one the most innovative steps in Indian agriculture that has been used thus far. Indian jugaad, anyone?